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Even though the snow keeps falling, we are starting to see and hear the signs of springtime! Now is the time to plan ahead for your orchards, gardens and natural landscape. The Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District Tree and Plant Sale pre-order deadline is Thursday, March 16th, with pickup dates from April 24th through April 28th.

This year we are pleased to offer a variety of bare root stock trees and shrubs for landscaping, whether your passion is for flowering trees, native berry bushes or nuts! We also offer an abundance of orchard trees, including apples, cherries, peaches and pears. We are offering a hard-cider apple collection, a heritage apple collection, a grape collection as well as a hybrid plum collection, to help get your new orchard started, and we also offer companion plants to help your orchard thrive.

Blueberries, cranberries, grapes and raspberries are available as well as a variety of native shrubs and trees such as chokeberries, elderberries, juneberries, nannyberries and serviceberries. Additionally, we offer beautiful flowering plants and herbs with many of these providing pollinator habitat for birds, butterflies and bees. Most of our offerings are hardy to zone 4 so they should be well adapted to our area.

Creative and functional landscaping not only can prevent or eliminate problem areas on your land or adjacent water, but also can enhance the value of your home. Erosion control plants may be necessary for steeper areas of your property, areas adjacent to water bodies for prevention of runoff, and any area where there are no existing plants to help keep the soil in place.

Our selection of native Maine plants can also be used to create beautiful rain gardens. Rain gardens are designed to utilize water from roofs, driveways and other hard areas to control runoff problems and to protect water quality. They are not only functional, but are also attractive additions for a welcoming landscape.

We carry locally made bluebird houses to provide a home for the birds that visit your gardens. Our landscape helpers include Plantskydd Organic Animal Repellent, Recycled Rain Barrels, Kitchen Pails and Garden Composters as well as Biodegradable Mesh Tree Protector Sleeves. Plantskydd is effective against deer, rabbits, voles, moose, chipmunks, and squirrels. It offers over-winter plant protection for up to 6 months! No other repellent lasts as long. Plantskydd is ORGANIC – the first animal repellent to be OMRI listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute for organic food production. It is made in the USA.

For more information about the wide variety of plants and products available through this fundraiser that supports our educational programs, please contact the district office at 564 – 2321, extension 3, email us at info@piscataquisswcd.org or stop by the United States Department of Agriculture Service Center in the Pine Crest Business Park at 42 Engdahl Drive, Dover – Foxcroft, Monday through Friday, 8am until 4:30pm.